What is Overdrive On A Monitor And How Do You Turn It On And Off?

Last Updated on May 27, 2021

Overdrive in displays, especially in monitors makes sure of the monitor’s response time and its swift speed by encouraging the refresh rate. Particularly, it is a gaming feature or you can also say it as a setting that allows the user to adapt and achieve anticipated smooth moving graphics.

Overdrive on a monitor boosts up and uplifts the refresh rate processing speed that your monitor is already having. As you already know, response time is what helps the pixels to shift evenly and in synchronize with the overdrive without any lag or delay.

It is useful when you are playing fast-paced competitive games and the pushed overdrive response time makes sure the user does not experience any artifact trailing or while dealing with the rapidly moving objects on screen. It has to do with gaming and fast moving objects so that the uniformity remains consistent.

To understand it in a better way, let’s look on to one example. If your monitor features the 144Hz of refresh rate, it would refresh or update 144 images per seconds, which implies that there are 16.67 milliseconds between each of the two refresh spans.

However, if you are using way too much strong overdrive that doesn’t go well with your monitor features, or the program you are running onto, it can also promote inverse ghosting or trailing on-screen effect.

There are many names of overdrive for example OD, Response Overdrive, Response Time Compensation, but each of the functions is the same and outputs the same as well, with the minor options setting or its levels.

Which Response Time Overdrive Option to Use?

Monitor Overdrive Settings

Selecting the appropriate overdrive setting has always been subjected to many answers mainly because every monitor manufacturer has its own way to design internal settings. Besides, finding the optimum point for overdrive is necessary.

Moreover, you should be careful of its precise setting as the minor difference can create the major space when you finally get to see the display after finishing the settings.

Besides, by seeing the diverse options you can clearly infer that balance is a crucial and must-have parameter that one needs to be mindful of. Whichever setting you are opting for, make certain of the fact that it’s not ‘too much’ not ‘too low’ that may bring along its own concerns along

On a regular note, medium to normal is the best regarded setting for the response time overdrive option to use on your display monitor.

To avoid the overshooting and inverse trailing of the coloration on-screen using normal or medium response time overdrive would make certain of the suitable gaming time. That’s why the maximum overdrive setting is not everyone’s favorite.

But the thing here to notice is that there come several options with different names. It is not a hard and fast rule that normal or the medium is the only setting that will feature in your monitor no matter what.

Different brands come with differences in overdrive options namely; high, medium, and low or also some come with strong, medium, and weak. Usually it’s three major settings amongst which you are supposed to pick any one.

However, as mentioned before, some monitors and display technologies also offer you the full-fledged range of overdrive features from 0 to 100 levels. You can select any number depending on your preference, as long as it fulfills the parameter of smooth performance.

One the other hand, some of the display monitors that feature this overdrive option are made with the slow, normal, fast, faster setting. You can also disable the overdrive setting, again, if your monitor brand has been made with such an option!

Certainly if you use the best overdrive option it would help you to experience the best anticipated outcome as well. Unless or until you are required to use a low overdrive setting don’t use it, as the very much low overdrive setting can readily elevate ghosting or trailing.

To test your monitor’s refresh rate, you can use BlurBusters’ UFO ghosting test.

Response Time and Overdrive: IPS vs. TN vs. VA

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Without a second doubt, the IPS (In-plane switching), TN (Twisted Nematic) and VA (Vertical Alignment) are one of the most common and used types when you talk about the next-level and amazing digitized viewing experience. However, there is still a difference between each of them depending on the other feature and the technology being used within.

In-Plane Switching display (IPS)

IPS technology in monitors has been designed to especially dedicate the best coloration effect. If you own the IPS display the best color and consistency is ensured.  The response time of an IPS display is 4 milliseconds.

Unlike the TN display panel, which would restrict you to view at a certain angle, the IPS technology in the display monitor makes sure you have ergonomic ease to see the display. On top, overdrive with even response time plays a key role for pixel harmony.

Moreover, IPS displays are famous for its sharp and crisp approach for coloration in every frame. Hence it is better to go for an IPS display if you are a graphics designer, photo editor or a core gamer as well.

Moreover, the IPS display along with its color accuracy and consistency offer best response time for many users. Due to its attenuating power the IPS display virtually eliminates color and contrast shift that a TN penal wouldn’t do otherwise.

Twisted Nematic display (TN)

It is another type of display technology that is pretty much cheaper in comparison with IPS or VA displays that makes it very much in-demand as well. Moreover, the fast and ever so quick performing ability is another plus-point.

If you talk about the response timings of TN display technology, it is topping in comparison with IPS and VA with 5 milliseconds of response time in total. TN penal brings good news especially for competitive gamers. However, by using the overdrive feature, you can achieve 1ms of response time easily.

It is readily budget-friendly and very much ace to reduce the screen blur along with the screen tearing for color and contrast TN displays let out the satisfactory performance.

Vertical Alignment display (VA)

For the response timings of VA monitors, you get to experience about 5 milliseconds. To overcome the downsides of TN penal vertical alignment displays are way more robust and offer user-friendly perks in terms of contrast ratio, but for response timing this technology is somewhat compromised.

One of the major points that make the VA penal stand out in comparison with TN or IPS is its ability to stymie the backlight that is not in the process of usage. Moreover, the wide viewing angles, dedicatedly color apps that guarantee the user of deeper blacks and the stable contrast ratio for every frame.

In short, the relation of overdrive in view of IPS, VA and TN display technologies is simply its response time. When you enable the overdrive in either of these aforementioned displays penal you get to experience the difference in its existing speed.

Response Time Overdrive and Refresh Rate

Response time on display monitors, especially the latest ones, is the time sum of time that the display screen takes for the next task. How fast or slow the display is showing you the anticipated frame is what is measured in response time. Overdrive can readily change the perspective when you alter its settings.

Simply put, anything that you ask your pc to do a particular task, it renders the program for sure. Hence it takes some amount of time that we know as response time. For instance, loading a website or its page, or changing from picture to picture.

The slow response time of the monitor will apparently take time for pixels to shift from one state to another. Hence you introduce overdrive to tackle that.

The refresh rate of the display is a sheer thing that will tell you about how quick a display refreshes itself, and its rate of swiftness. 

The (Hz) hertz of the refresh rate will keep the display updated depending upon what your display offers in the first place.  For instance if you have the refresh rate of 120Hz its obvious refreshing of per frame would be 120 times.

When you incorporate the maximized overdrive option on your display monitor (that your display can handle) it makes sure the GtG (grey to grey). Overdrive, in response time and refresh rate will play the key role in determining the shade transition. Its swift approach and sluggish behavior is solely dependent on overdrive settings. 


It’s hard to get to the exact answer monitor settings when you are a newbie to the technical terms. Besides, the emerging advancement in the tech-field makes it no less than a challenge to choose the backend setting that goes well exactly as per you want.

Overdrive is mainly used because you want to reduce or eliminate the trailing or ghosting effect. However, it is always best to keep ‘your’ personal requirements and preferences as highlighted while choosing the sweet spot in overdrive option from the settings. 

As you know, overdrive gives a push to the response time therefore if you are in a need of it only then you should enable it.

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